Your First Wallet(s)

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Setting up your first cryptocurrency wallet is an important step to take, but it can be an intimidating experience. There are a lot options, jargon, things to backup secretly, passphrases and - best of all - if you make a mistake you could lose your crypto, forever. 🙃

But don't worry, this article will take you through the full process of setting up your wallet and sending your first transactions. You'll likely do this many times, so it's worth understanding the basic steps of the process. It gets easier each time.

We'll go over installing, setting up, backing up, restoring, receiving, and sending cryptocurrency, on both desktop and mobile wallets. For this introduction, we'll use the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain, the Electron Cash desktop wallet, and the bitcoin.com mobile wallet.

Other wallets also work, but we suggest using a BCH Wallet with SLP for this tutorial.

Why Learn With BCH?

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is an ideal blockchain to start with due to it's long legacy, active development on the protocol and application levels, expanding use-cases in retail, similarities to Bitcoin (BTC), and very low transactions fees. The low transaction fees are especially valuable when starting as they allow users to experiment with sending to themselves, friends or services with small amounts before committing to larger value transactions. This way you're able begin receiving, sending, and using crypto as currency immediately without worrying about high transaction fees or long confirmation times.

Almost all cryptocurrency wallets follow the same pattern for the basics - create, backup, send, receive, restore. The learnings from this guide can be applied and followed along with most other cryptos or wallets of your choice.

Why These Wallets

Electron Cash and the BitcoinCom Mobile wallet are some of the more full-featured Bitcoin Cash (BCH) wallets, while also being easy to use. These wallets allow all of the basic operations, while also providing seamless privacy features, SLP support, point of sale support and other unique features. Electron Cash is perfect as a computer wallet with its strong privacy, advanced coin control, flexible usage, and a large number of BCH specific features to discover. Whereas the BitcoinCom wallet is a perfect on-the-go wallet with multiple accounts, SLP token support, Bitcoin (BTC) wallets, point of sale features, and an extremely fast backend.

Note that both of these wallets are focused towards specific blockchains, with Electron Cash supporting only BCH, and BitcoinCom Wallet supporting BTC and BCH. Chain-focused wallets are important for learning as they usually have chain-specific features. Some of which to look out for: reusable addresses, slp token, coin control, CashShuffle/CashFusion, and more. When a wallet supports many blockchains, they usually only implement the basics for each (send, receive) and rarely expose users to the unique aspects of each blockchain.

Crypto users commonly store multiple coins in a multi-currency wallet -, and hold a smaller amount of specific currencies in single coin wallets for active or daily use.

Installing Electron Cash

  • Visit ElectronCash.org

    • Verify the URL is correct, there are many phishing websites around
  • Download the latest version
  • Verify checksum

    • This step may seem complicated, but it's important to verify the wallet is real
    • This step gets simpler each time
  • Install the Elcrton Cash wallet

Setup / Backup Wallet

Hurray, Electron Cash is installed and you're ready to join the BCH party. Let's get the wallet setup and secured.

  • Start by selecting new wallet,
  • Give it a name
  • Selecting standard wallet
  • Create a new seed

    • Note: This is where you can restore wallets by entering their seed phrase
  • Write down the seed phrase, and keep them very, very, private.

    • Seed phrases are typically 12 or 24 words long and look like...
    • tragic convince era road before... etc etc
  • Enter your seed word on the next screen to confirm it's written correct
  • Backup the wallet seed phrase and derivation path

    • Backing up the derivation path is good practice, and if it's not available take note which wallet you're using.
    • wallet > view seed > copy derivation path
    • For Electron Cash this is by default m/44'/145'/0', and for the Electron Cash SLP edition m/44'/245'/0'

Once those steps are done, Electron Cash is ready for use, click around and explore the UI. Next, let's get a mobile wallet installed and some free BCH from a faucet to practice with.

Seed Phrase

Seed phrases should always be kept secret, they are all someone needs to gain access to your crypto assets. All addresses derived from a compromised seed phrase/wallet should be considered public and not used for anything or store any assets.

Restore Wallet

Similar to the setup steps, but instead of generating a new seed phrase, use an existing phrase - one you backed up when setting up a wallet.

If the seed phrase was created from the same wallet you're restoring with, then this should just work. If not, you may need to enter the derivation path the wallet was created with. Usually this is standardized across a coins different wallets, but nothing prevents wallets from being created on non-standard paths. If you didn't back up the derivation path with the seed phrase, and the restoring wallet cannot determine the path, then hopefully you remember which wallet created the seed and the derivation path can be researche from there.

BitcoinCom - BCH PLS

Now for the fun part. Receiving, sending and using Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Let's get some BCH by heading to the bitcoin.com BCH faucet, and installing wallet.bitcoin.com on your phone to qualify for free Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

  • Install the mobile wallet
  • Backup the seed phrase in a similar way as before
  • Go through the faucet steps
  • Continue when you got your BCH

Alternatively, you can buy some crypto, but a faucet is easy for starting with no investment.

Faucets

Faucets usually give away very small amounts of a crypto, just enough to pay for 1-3 transactions worth of fees. Enough to try using p2p crash and see how easy and fast it can be.

Your First Transaction

  • Open the Electron Cash wallet
  • Go to the receive tab.

    • You should see a QR code. This represents one of your receiving addresses
  • Open the BitcoinCom wallet
  • Go to send tab and and scan the QR code in Electron Cash
  • Send the transaction to your Electron Cash wallet
  • The transaction should arrive after a few seconds. 🎊

That's it. You now have two wallets setup, one for Mobile, one for Desktop, and successfully sent funds between them. With micro amounts, sure, but you can send any amount to anyone using the same process. With desktop and mobile wallets setup, and practice sending funds between them, you have a pretty good wallet setup in the works.

A few things to notice.

  • A small part of the transaction was spent on the transaction/miner fee
  • In Electron Cash's addresses tab one of the addresses now has funds, and in the receiving tab the QR code shows a new address

    • Each wallet can generate effectively unlimited addresses to always receive on a new address. This is good for privacy.
  • When the transaction arrives it's status is unconfirmed, when it's confirmed in a block the confirmations increase by 1 and so on.

    • BCH coins can be spent while they are unconfirmed up to 50 times.
  • Your Receiving Address begins with bitcoincash:,

    • this is an address format specific to BCH.
    • You will also often see legacy and simpleledger: address formats in the BCH ecosystem.
  • QR codes can encode more than a simple address, such as: requesting specific amounts, point of sale payment requests, SLP token amounts, but this goes beyond the scope of the article.

Ways to Spend Micro Amounts

Now you're the proud owner of a micro amount of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), know how to keep it secure, and can spend it with confidence, but what can you do with this micro-amount? Turns out, a few things. Here are a few ideas.

SLP Tokens / Edition

Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) is a rapidly growing token ecosystem within the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) space. It's already being used for experiments in tipping [$SPICE], token mining [$MIST], stable coins [$USDH, $USDT], exchange tokens [$DROP] and new ones being created every day. To start using SLP token, you need to use an SLP compatible wallet. The Bitcoin.com mobile wallet is already SLP compatible, but for Electron Cash - at least for now - you'll need to install a specific SLP version.

  • On their main page, scroll down to the SLP version section
  • Repeat all the setup and backup steps from earlier

    • Note: SLP aware wallets often use a different derivation path of BCH only wallets
  • Start using SLP tokens in the new Tokens tab

Finding Advanced Features

There is a lot more wallets can do, we've only touched the surface. Explore the menus and see if you can enable CashShuffle, spend individual coins (coin control), change the fiat currency conversion, turn on quick-send, claim a CashAccount, etc etc.

Each wallet has a different set of features, so explore each one to find new features.

Seeing Your Transactions

Each wallet shows their relevant transaction history, but if you want more details on individual addresses or transactions, you can use a block explorer. There are many to choose from, but here are two good ones to try... Just enter the address or transaction ID to look at

You can also try spotting your transaction happen on the blockchain with our TX-Watch tool.

Further Resources

Thanks for reading this article, we hope you're now able to better understand how to use digital cash. Follow our Twitter for updates. If you'd like to suggest an improvement, correction, or anything else, get in contact with us.

Fin.

Why Learn With BCH?

Why These Wallets

Installing Electron Cash

Setup / Backup Wallet

Restore Wallet

BitcoinCom - BCH PLS

Your First Transaction

Ways to Spend Micro Amounts

SLP Tokens / Edition

Finding Advanced Features

Seeing Your Transactions

Further Resources

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